Bringing such large numbers of people and hardware into enemy territory required the massive mobilization of supporting machines from all the countries taking part in the fight. Over 11,000 airplanes were involved in covering or otherwise supporting the landings from the air, while on the water, close to 7,000 ships were deployed in support of the military objectives.
The rest, as they say, is history, and Normandy became a symbol of freedom overcoming oppression. Needless to say, the Normandy landings themselves are still celebrated to this day by the side that ended up winning the war.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF), which was one of the pillars for the operations’ success, regularly performs flyovers of the Normandy beaches as a means to “honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Europe during World War II.” This June, on the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the task of performing the ritual fell upon several aircraft, including F-15C Eagles and KC-135 Stratotankers.
You can see some of the machines that took part on June 6 in the aerial procession in the main pic of this piece (click photo to enlarge), as captured by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog and released last week by the Air Force.